<\body> Stories in America: Another GOP Resignation

Friday, October 06, 2006

Another GOP Resignation

This one doesn't involve underage pages:
An aide to top White House political adviser Karl Rove resigned in the fallout over a congressional report showing many White House contacts with ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Last week's report by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee said Rove aide Susan Ralston had passed inside White House information to Abramoff while she was also accepting his tickets to as many as nine sports and entertainment events.

Abramoff and several associates have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud in an influence-peddling scandal and are cooperating with a federal corruption probe that has reached into the U.S. Congress.


At 10/06/2006 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJ: Rove Threw Bash at Signatures, Not Charged
By Paul Kiel - October 6, 2006, 5:03 PM
Whoops. Karl Rove threw a party for dozens of White House staffers at Jack Abramoff's restaurant in January 2004, but was not charged, according to a new story in the National Journal (not available online).

The senior White House adviser only paid his tab at Abramoff's Signatures restaurant this May, the magazine reports -- after Abramoff had pled guilty to multiple felonies, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Approximately 50 operatives from Rove's office attended the party, for which Rove was ultimately charged $995. NJ's Peter Stone says they "munched on pricey hors d'oeuvres" as they listened to Rove give a pep talk. Rove made the reservation for the private room through Susan Ralston, his personal aide who resigned earlier today because of her ties to Abramoff.

An unnamed administration spokesperson told Stone that they tried to pay for the room -- they really did -- but somehow they were never charged:

When Rove’s office contacted Signatures the next day to inquire about the cost, the office was told that the bill came to $995.81, according to an administration spokesman. Rove and five of his deputies sent over their credit card numbers and assumed that the tab would be paid. But last May, more than two years later, after Abramoff had already pleaded guilty to three felonies, including fraud and conspiracy to bribe public officials, Rove’s office belatedly decided to double-check the status of the restaurant bill and learned that the credit cards had never been charged. With Signatures in liquidation, White House lawyers have in recent days found a way for the debt to be paid, a spokesman said: Rove will take care of it out of his own pocket.
Ethics rules bar White House officials from accepting gifts worth more than $20. The restaurant appears to have charged Rove $19.92 per event attendee.

The revelation comes after a congressional report last week that uncovered dozens of meetings between Abramoff's lobbying team and Rove's office. One email exchange released by the committee showed Ralph Reed saying that he'd successfully stifled a nomination at the Interior Department for Abramoff by talking with Rove.


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